Nebraska, Iowa governors raise concerns about long-term care staffing requirements

Pillen, Reynolds join 13 other governors sent Biden a letter earlier this month urging him to intervene
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 6:05 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen said he met with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services this week to voice concers about federal staffing requirements for long-term care facilities.

The proposal put forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would require a minimum of 0.55 hours per resident per day to be provided by Registered Nurses; and 2.45 hours per day to be provided by Nurse Aides. Those facilities would also have to have an RN onsite 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

On Nov. 1, Pillen and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and 13 other governors sent a letter to President Biden asking him to reconsider the proposed requirements, saying the “one-size-fits-all” staffing rules will “force many long-term care facilities to close and erode health care access for some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.”

They said the new requirements would create too much strain on facilities, particuarly those in more sparsely populated areas.

The governors of Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming all signed the letter.

According to a news release from Pillen’s office, he personally met with USDHHS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure on Monday in Washington, D.C., to discuss his concerns about the impacts of the staffing requirements, particularly in Nebraska.

“I appreciate the time that Administrator Brooks-LaSure took to hear our concerns and understand the circumstances that are currently plaguing our nursing workforce and nursing homes,” said Gov. Pillen. “These proposed regulations would have a detrimental impact on long-term care facilities and would force even more to close their doors. My hope is that this meeting provided a better understanding of the dynamics that exist in Nebraska, and the potential impacts, especially in our rural areas.”

Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen

Read the letter